UBC Undergraduate Research

Evaluating Current approaches to Riparian Management in British Columbia von Loessl, Stephanie


Riparian forests are tightly linked to freshwater streams making these ecosystems vulnerable to alterations that occur from timber harvesting. In order to protect stream resources, fixed-width buffers were implemented in BC in the Riparian Management Area Guidebook (1995) under the Forest Practices Code (FPC). It has been found that these buffers have not been extensively subjected to scientific validation and commonly under-protect site-specific conditions. The Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) was introduced in 2004 in order to deregulate management planning for licensees. However, FRPA uses result-based objectives which are difficult to measure, making it challenging for foresters to comply with the legislation, causing foresters to default to the Riparian Management Area Guidebook (1995). I used a survey to assess and quantify common riparian management protocols in BC. The survey found that foresters commonly follow the Guidebook, even though it is felt that the Guidebook is outdated and lacks adequate protection for small streams and site-specific conditions. Thus, foresters are found to deviate from the fixed-width buffers to manage for site-specific conditions, such as stands vulnerable to windthrow, sensitive fish habitat and other hydrologically sensitive areas.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International